The Husa Knife is also known as “A’chang Knife” since it is produced in Husa, a place mainly inhabited by A’chang ethnic group. Being famous in the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty, the time-honored knife boasts of a history of over 6000 years. There are countless varieties of knife, varying in lengths and uses. There are knives for work, for doing house work, for hunting and for self-defense, to name just a few of a dozen possible uses. With superb rigidity and elegant appearance, the Husa Knife enjoys great popularity among the local ethnic minority groups, ethnic groups in north China and people from Southeast Asian countries.
The making of Husa Knife shows the division of labor among different ethnic groups. According to historical records, around 14-15 century, when Han settled in Dehong, the economic and social development of each ethnic group varies greatly. Against the special backdrop, A’chang ethnic group volunteers to forge iron, freeing other ethnic groups from the task. Passed on from generation to generation and innovated continuously, the technique has developed into a blooming industry.
The knife-making skill is now both a tradition and a way of making money. With a metal plate for forging iron in every family, most men in Husa are skillful knife makers. There is a traditional division of labor in each home. The men make the knives and the women sell them. Family income mainly comes from making knives.
With the innovation and perfection of generations of A’chang people, the knife making industry has already enjoyed a large scale. The knife’s values in use, decoration and art have also soared. Exquisite knives of different uses and length have attracted numerous visitors home and abroad. It is a must-buy for every visitor to Husa. Some buy the knives for decoration in the car or house, some for self-defense while others for house work or cooking.
The knife links people of different ethnic groups, promoting exchange and integration between them. On Jingpo people’s Munaozongge Festival, each Jingpo men wears a Husa Knife while each Jingpo maid buys a sharp and elegant knife and present it as a gift to her MR Right. On Kuoshi Festival of Lisu ethnic group, the knives are used for making a ladder, on which the Lisu warriors climb with bare feet.